22nd April is celebrated as International Mother Earth Day across the world. This day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of a symbiotic relationship between the Earth and humankind. It also seeks to spread the idea that Mother Earth provides us with life and sustenance and that we must live in harmony with nature and the Earth.
Theme for Earth Day 2019
The theme for International Mother Earth Day 2019 is ‘Protect Our Species.’ Mother Earth has provided us with millions of species of flora and fauna, many of which have already been discovered and some of which are still waiting to be discovered. However, unfortunately, due to indiscriminate human activity, we are losing many animals at an alarming rate. Our anthropocentric view has led to the extinction of a large number of wildlife species and currently, the world is facing mass extinction of species. We are, today, experiencing the fastest rate of extinction of animal species!
Here are a few facts that corroborate the same.
Scientists estimate that we are now losing species at a rate of 1,000 to 10,000 times that of the regular rate of extinction of species. Further, studies also show that 40% of the world’s bird species are declining. Nearly 60% of the world primate species is under the threat of extinction. Isn’t this appalling?
The theme for the Earth Day 2019 seeks to spread awareness about this mass extinction and urges humans to come together to act against it.
History of World Earth Day
The roots of World Earth Day were sown close to five decades back. In the late 60s, industrialization was at its peak. The world was engulfed in smog due to a great number of cars, air pollution was rampant, industries polluted the air with a great number of toxic gases, and the environment was in a state of massive decline.
Gaylord Nelson, the then-senator of Wisconsin, United States of America, is widely credited with introducing the concept of Mother Earth Day. He came up with this novel idea after witnessing a huge oil spill in Santa Barbara in California in January and February 1969. At that time, it was the largest oil spill ever and it ravaged the marine life, killing an estimated 3,500 sea birds and a huge number of marine animals such as dolphins, sea lions, and elephant seals.
Nelson came up with the idea of a ‘national teach-in on the environment’ and mobilized people across the United States to participate in the event to make the world a better place to live in.
As a result, on 22 April 1970, millions of Americans took to the streets and protested this state of environmental decline. Also, many educational institutes across the country supported this event. This day was a watershed in the history of the modern environmental movement.
Gaylord Nelson was also awarded the President Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton for playing a pioneering role as the founder of the International Earth Day.
What are you doing to protect Mother Earth that has provided us with a beautiful environment to live in? Do let us know!
Meanwhile, watch this fantastic song by rapper Lil Dicky that celebrates World Earth Day. The song features over 30 A-list singers such as Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber, and Ariana Grande, lending their voice to various animals.
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